United States District Court, W.D. Washington, Tacoma
HONORABLE RONALD B. LEIGHTON JUDGE.
MATTER is before the Court on renewed applications to proceed
in forma pauperis by plaintiffs Nohemi Estrada,
Shane Estrada, and Nohemi's minor son A.E. [Dkt. #s 12,
13 and 14]. The Court denied [Dkt. # 4] Plaintiffs'
initial application both because it was not clear plaintiffs
were indigent, and because the 52-page proposed complaint
failed to state a plausible claim.
filed an 81-page proposed amended complaint [Dkt. # 8], and
have since filed updated affidavits claiming they are
indigent. The plaintiffs have established their indigency,
but they have not remedied the flaws in their proposed
district court may permit indigent litigants to proceed
in forma pauperis upon completion of a proper
affidavit of indigency. See 28 U.S.C. §
1915(a). The Court has broad discretion in resolving the
application, but “the privilege of proceeding in
forma pauperis in civil actions for damages should be
sparingly granted.” Weller v. Dickson, 314
F.2d 598, 600 (9th Cir. 1963), cert. denied 375 U.S.
person is eligible to proceed in forma pauperis if
they are unable to pay the costs of filing and still provide
the necessities of life. See Rowland v. Cal. Men's
Colony, Unit II Men's Advisory Council, 506 U.S.
194, 203 (1993) (internal quotations omitted). This generally
includes incarcerated individuals with no assets and persons
who are unemployed and dependent on government assistance.
See, e.g., Ilagan v. McDonald, 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS
79889, at *2 (D. Nev. June 16, 2016) (granting petition based
on unemployment and zero income); Reed v. Martinez,
2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 80629, at *1, 2015 WL 3821514 (D. Nev.
June 19, 2015) (granting petition for incarcerated individual
on condition that applicant provides monthly payments towards
filing fee). It does not include those whose access to the
court system is not blocked by their financial constraints,
but rather are in a position of having to weigh the financial
constraints pursuing a case imposes. See Sears, Roebuck
& Co. v. Charles W. Sears Real Estate, Inc., 686
F.Supp. 385, 388 (N.D. N.Y.), aff'd, 865 F.2d 22 (2d Cir.
1988) (denying petition to proceed IFP because petitioner and
his wife had a combined annual income of between $34, 000 and
a court should “deny leave to proceed in forma
pauperis at the outset if it appears from the face of
the proposed complaint that the action is frivolous or
without merit.” Tripati v. First Nat'l Bank
& Trust, 821 F.2d 1368, 1369 (9th Cir. 1987)
(citations omitted); see also 28 U.S.C. §
1915(e)(2)(B)(i). An in forma pauperis complaint is
frivolous if “it ha[s] no arguable substance in law or
fact.” Id. (citing Rizzo v. Dawson,
778 F.2d 527, 529 (9th Cir. 1985); see also Franklin v.
Murphy, 745 F.2d 1221, 1228 (9th Cir. 1984).
pro se Plaintiff's complaint is to be construed
liberally, but like any other complaint it must nevertheless
contain factual assertions sufficient to support a facially
plausible claim for relief. Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556
U.S. 662, 678, 129 S.Ct. 1937, 173 L.Ed.2d 868 (2009) (citing
Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570,
127 S.Ct. 1955, 167 L.Ed.2d 929 (2007)). A claim for relief
is facially plausible when “the plaintiff pleads
factual content that allows the court to draw the reasonable
inference that the defendant is liable for the misconduct
alleged.” Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678.
the Court will permit pro se litigants an opportunity to
amend their complaint in order to state a plausible claim.
See United States v. Corinthian Colleges, 655 F.3d
984, 995 (9th Cir. 2011) (“Dismissal without leave to
amend is improper unless it is clear, upon de novo review,
that the complaint could not be saved by any
new complaint is even longer than the first one, but it still
does not articulate a plausible claim. It is very difficult
to follow. It does not describe facts, its describes the
plaintiffs' claims. Instead of saying what actually
happened-the “who what when where and why” of a
factual story-the complaint is conclusory and confusing:
June 3, 2015, Claik County Juvenile Probation Counselor
D'AJene White orchestrated the submission of a CPS
referral in retaliation against Plaintiff Nohemi Teresa
Estrada for walking out on Ms. White and Ms. Hull during a
heated discussion the previous day. On June 3, 2015, an
Intake Report was entered into the database by Children's
Administration. No. indication in the report identifies the
interviewer, however, it is clear that Josiah was present and
gave the responses in the interview that occurred at Mountain
View High School -Evergreen School District Vancouver
Washington. [Dkt. # 8]
Court has no way of knowing the underlying facts, and neither
do the defendants. It is apparent that one of Nohemi's
children (non-party Josiah) was or is incarcerated, and that
another (plaintiff A.E.) is autistic and troubled by
Josiah's absence, but nowhere in the document is a simple
straightforward articulation of what any defendant actually
did to violate any plaintiffs rights. It appears
that Josiah was arrested for assaulting his mother, and that
she may have been arrested as the result of that altercation
as well. There is mention of a trial court and a trail, but
it not clear what happened or whether that outcome is what
Nohemi is suing about.
is what she is suing about, it is not actionable here. This
Court cannot and will not review or reverse decisions made in
state court. The Rooker-Feldman doctrine precludes
“cases brought by state-court losers complaining of
injuries caused by state-court judgments . . . and inviting
district court review and rejection of those
judgments.” Exxon Mobil Corp. v. Saudi Basic Indus.
Corp., 544 U.S. 280, 284, 125 S.Ct. 1517, 1521, 161
L.Ed.2d 454 (2005). [W]hen a losing plaintiff in state court
brings a suit in federal district court asserting as legal
wrongs the allegedly erroneous legal rulings of the state
court and seeks to vacate or set aside the judgment of that
court, the federal suit is a forbidden de facto
appeal. Noel v. Hall, 341 F.3d 1148, 1156
(9th Cir. 2003); Carmona v. Carmona, 603
F.3d 1041, 1050 (9th Cir. 2008).
these reasons, the motion to proceed in forma
pauperis based on this implausible proposed complaint is
DENIED. Plaintiffs shall pay the filing fee
within 21 days or file a second proposed amended complaint,
or the matter will be dismissed. Furthermore, and in any
event, neither Nohemi or Shane can represent A.E. in this or
any case. If he is not competent ...